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Mack Wilson Sr. Signs With Arizona Cardinals

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New England Patriots linebacker Mack Wilson, was the highest ranked Patriots defensive player by Pro Football Focus for Week 13

Mack Wilson Sr. is leaving the New England Patriots in free agency. The linebacker and core special teams player has agreed to a three-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals.

ESPN’s Mike Reiss was the first to announce the signing. NFL Netork’s Ian Rapaport disclosed the deal is for $12.75 million, with a chance to go up to $15 million.

Mack Wilson Sr.

Mack Wilson Sr. is a five-year NFL veteran. Despite having been in the league for a bit, Wilson just turned 26 this month. He played his first three seasons with Cleveland. The Browns selected Wilson in the fifth round (No. 155 overall) of the 2019 NFL Draft. New England traded Chase Winovich to Cleveland for Wilson before the 2022 season.

Wilson played college football at Alabama. He helped the Crimson Tide win three SEC titles and the 2017 National Championship.

Last season Wilson contributed on defense and special teams. He finished with career highs in sacks (3.5), tackles for loss (four) and QB hits (four). He compiled 37 tackles, 24 solo. He played in only 27% of defensive snaps, but 68% on special teams as one of the core players.

Patriots Linebacker Room

With the departure of Mack Wilson Sr. this unit will need some additional help. Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings remain unrestricted free agents from last season’s linebacker room. Matthew Judon will be returning from an injury-shortened season, so that should be a huge boost to an already solid unit. Joining Judon among those signed for next season are team captain Ja’Whaun Bentley, 2023 Patriots MVP Jahlani Tavai, Raekwon McMillan, and Joe Giles-Harris. Christian Elliss is an exclusive rights free agent (ERFA) who could return as well.

Right for Wilson’s Family

Mack Wilson Sr. spoke to Sophie Weller of A to Z Sports after the season and openly expressed his excitement over Jerod Mayo being named as Patriots’ new head coach. However, this did not mean Wilson was a lock to return to New England.

“Obviously he’s my position coach the last two years and stuff, but also I’m going to test the market, see what’s out there, and things like that. And try my best to make the best decision for me and my family,” Wilson explained.

“Mayo’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever had in my life. I would love to continue to play for him, to get that experience, to be a part of that new era, to be a part of that cultural change and things like that. But when it’s all said and done, when that time comes, I’m gonna make the best decision I feel that’s right for my family.”

At the end of the day, Mack Wilson Sr. decided that signing a three-year deal worth up to $15 million was the best decision for him and his family. He was playing his best football in the second half of 2023. The New England Patriots will now need to replace his production.

Award-winning blogger, Dan's work has also been featured on Fox Sports, Boston Metro, Barstool Sports, MLB.com, and many other outlets.

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